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    I know what's right for me, says jobless Preity

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Friday, August 27, 2004
    What does Preity Zinta have in common with Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan? Like her two favorite actors, Preity is currently unemployed!

    "Well... almost, unless you count the ads that I keep doing. Apart from those, I''ve no films on hand after Mr. Yash Chopra''s untitled film is released. Is it a scary thought? Not in the least!

    "I''ve always believed in doing one film at a time. So there have been times when I''ve had these spaces in my career, which, let me hasten to add, I''ve used very productively to grow as an artiste and a human being.

    "I''m not an insecure person and a few months without a project doesn''t make me think it''s the end of the world. And, like I just said, for Hrithik this post-''Lakshya'' lacuna is a new experience. I''m quite happy doing other things, like preparing for my world concert which begins next month," Preity told IANS in an interview.
    Interestingly, Preity's one-time friend Rani Mukherjee had also adopted the same career strategy after "Saathiya". She had chosen not to sign anything because nothing excited her.
    The offers are pouring in. Preity recently reluctantly said no to the opportunity to play Amitabh Bachchan's widowed daughter-in-law in Ravi Chopra's "Babul".
    "I don't know why. I instinctively felt it wasn't right for me. It's a great script and wonderful role. And I'd have had the opportunity to share screen space with Mr Bachchan, something I couldn't do in 'Lakshya'. Also, it would've been great to get together with Salman again. I've done two films with him in the past and have just completed his home production."
    Preity's next release "Dil Ne Jissey Apna Kaha" was supposed to feature her in a guest appearance, but the role was extended into a full-fledged part. She brushes away the observation: "The important thing is that director Atul Agnihotri and Salman are friends. And I enjoyed working with them. Salman and I are buddies. He never troubles me in any way. We share a very enjoyable relationship."
    The project that excites Preity the most is the one with Yash Chopra.
    "Yashji treats his stars like royalty. The food, the ambience and the treatment on the sets are extremely nurturing."
    In the film Preity plays a Pakistani girl. "My clothes, diction, hairstyle look are all so distinctive, it's incredible."
    At the end of the year, Preity goes into Karan Johar's next directorial venture. Then there's Vishal Bhardwaj's "Mantra" for producer Shekhar Kapur.
    "Am I picky? Yes perhaps. That's because I don't want my grandchild to look at one of my films on TV and exclaim, 'Ugh, what is that'?"
    Incidentally, at a recent press conference in Delhi when Preity was asked by a journalist why there wasn't an embargo on the number of ads she did, the perky actress turned around to ask: "Should there be a limit to the number of interviews and articles you do?"
    Preity laughs loudly. "I won't be taken for granted. Ever. Or told what to do. I know what's right for me."

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